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5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of  IHG Rewards Club for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

I love to travel!  I love everything about it, meeting new people, seeing different parts of the world and embracing and appreciating the local customs, food and culture.  My very favorite thing seems to always be the sights.  I love nature, so places where I can be outside and see beauty great and small calls to my heart.  That being said, it’s expensive to travel, so here are five tips that I follow to make sure I can have some forever memories with the ones I love.

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

Tip 1: Fall in love locally.  What?!  Don’t get weird, people.  That’s my husband! (Who else would carry all my stuff?)  I’m talking about exploring your local area.  Local can be a city, state or region.  For example, all of the photos in this post were taken in Georgia, which is where I live.  We’ve lived in North Georgia for 15 years but until recently, we’d never gone to Jekyll or St. Simons Islands!  Weird.  It’s not a bad drive either.  Well, we finally went!  We spend about 4 days there and had a great time!  So, don’t forget to explore your own state.  For us, driving is a money saver, especially with three kids.  You might discover that you can afford to travel more often than you thought.  Plus, this world is beautiful!  Look around.  I’m sure you can find a reason to explore and it may not be as far away as you think!  (By the way, here are some posts I wrote about exploring GA with my kiddos.)

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

Tip 2. Explore vs. Entertainment.  I will drive just about anywhere to see something beautiful in nature.  Most of the time, besides gas and the food I would have eaten anyway, the costs are minimal.  For parks, there’s a small entrance fee and it’s the same with parking.  So, my tip here is to spend time explore vs. spending money on pricier entertainment.  Do your kids think that’s boring?  Cater to their interests and find a way to relate what you’re seeing and doing to their lives.  When my kids were three I bought them each their first cameras.  That’s how I taught them to explore.  I let them use the camera to capture their world.  I still do that.  As teenagers, they’re now willing and interested in going to gardens, beaches, monuments and even museums.  You just have to find a way to tie it into their world.

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

I have such passion for visiting places!  I scour books and online sites to find out everything I can about places that I’m going to visit.  I think I missed my calling as a travel agent.  Research is how I found Driftwood Beach in Jekyll Island.  To me, it’s like an outdoor art museum.  The driftwood is so beautiful!

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

On the pathway to Driftwood Beach, you’ll see a marsh!  Are you as stunned as I am by the diversity of the land?  This is truly memorable.

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

While we were exploring we came upon this Loggerhead turtle nesting area.  Isn’t that wonderful!  I love a place that respects nature!

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

Later we went to another beach and couldn’t believe our good fortune.  We got to be there for a rehabilitated turtle release!  We spent money later exploring the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.  It was well worth it!

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

 

Tip 3: Consider staying in a different city than you’re visiting!  That might sound like a weird tip but sometimes you might want to visit a city that is pricer because of it’s location.  If you pick a place just a few miles further down the road you might save enough to extend your trip!

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

We love Savannah, Georgia so much!  I took this photo from the top of the Holiday Inn Express.  They have a rooftop pool and observation deck.  My husband and I had a great time watching the ships from this rooftop spot overlooking the Savannah River.  We stay at this hotel every time we visit!  We love it because it’s got a lot of great features and is close to everything.  It’s also not too far from Hilton Head as well as Jekyll and St. Simon’s islands.  You could drive over there for a day trip!

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

Tip 4:  Make a plan!  I think one of the best money savers is knowing what you are going to do, that means have a backup plan too.  Once I took the kids on a road trip from Atlanta through Maine to Canada and back home.  As part of the trip, I took them to Plymouth Rock, MA to show them Plymouth Rock and it was closed.  I kid you not.  So, have a backup plan for things that you think could never happen.  They do.  The backup plan keeps you from forking over a bunch of money at the last minute, just to fill time.

5 Tips for an Affordable Vacation #ShareForever #Vacation #travel #tips

I just love this place!  This is part of River Street in Savannah, GA.  We love to eat at Tubby’s and watch the ships go by.  I wish I could jump into that photo and be there right now!  I’m going to book another Savannah stay soon!

Tip 5: Join a Rewards Program and Use Rewards!  Check out the IHG Share Forever Rewards program!  You will earn 500 Points for your next IHG hotel stay from May 1, 2015 – September 2, 2015.  You’ll earn another 500 points for that same hotel stay to share with another member! (Or keep the points for yourself!)  How cool is that?  So cool!  Earn from 68,500 to 115,500 “Share Forever” bonus points plus a maximum 58,500 bonus points to share, or keep. shareforever.ihg.com

I signed up and only wish I’d done so sooner.  I’m thrilled to get so many points for my next stay…hello Savannah!  I’m going to share my points with my daughter, since she’s going to be doing some traveling soon too.  You should go sign up too!  Sign up here: Register Now

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